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Oh Hey, AnnabelMay.co.uk

Well, it's official! 

Say hello to AnnabelMay.co.uk

I've said goodbye to The Life & Times of Belle after 5-ish years (err wait, how has it been that long?!), I'd come to feel like I'd sort of outgrown of The Life & Times of Belle and wanted something that felt a bit more personal, a bit more 'me'. I like how Annabel May is a bit more snappy, it couldn't be more 'me' if it tried (it's my name after all!), plus it rhymes - which I love!

I've been wanting to re-brand the ol' blog for a little while now but it just seemed like such a big task to undertake and one that I felt so overwhelmed by, there were so many decisions that had to be made! So, of course, I just put it off and kept avoiding it for ages! This past couple of months, when everything went radio silence on here and I haven't felt like posting (things happened in my personal life that really knocked me for six, to be honest, but that's a story for another post) I found that I really missed writing and working on all the other bits that come with blogging. So I decided to take the time work on the re-brand, it has taken me a good few weeks to make all the decisions and sort everything out, but I'm finally finished! Yay! I'm so so happy with how it has turned out! 

Aside from the obvious fact that I finally took the plunge and got myself a domain (so overdue! I feel like a 'proper' blogger now, ha!) to match my new blog name, I also treated myself to a fancy schmancy new design - I'm loving how much cleaner, brighter and fresher it is! 

Let's take a tour, shall we?

One of my fave features of the new design is the featured post slider up at the top - I love how it means I can keep my fave posts all in one accessible place. 

Oooh another thing that's hopefully going to keep my posts more organised is my new categories system - all of my content is now divided into eight categories: ADVENTURES, BEAUTY, BLOGGING, FASHION, HOME, LIFESTYLE, PLANNING & SERIAL - it's so much more streamlined and less cluttered!

What else? There are my social media links scattered around in a few places obvs - and of course a slider of my Instagram (I'm bloomin' loving my Insta at the moment, taking and editing photos have seriously become a hobby for me!). 

In terms of content, that's still going to be just whatever I fancy sharing, discussing or documenting whenever I sit down to write a post. I'm sure it'll be an eclectic mix - but that's just unapologetically me!

So er yeah, basically Hi and welcome to my new blog! Well, it's the same ol' blog, just a bit updated with its new name and a facelift! If you're new - thanks for visiting, I hope you stick around! And if you've been reading my blog for a while - thank you so much for sticking with me! 

Here's to a new chapter!

The Cop-Out Post

Insta-Lately // April 2017

It's time to share my past month through the medium of my instagram feed - if you fancy following along then my insta is @belsmay13 :) I'm attempting to post every single day of 2017 so if you want to see the other photos that didn't make the cut for this post then head over there!

My favourite form of self-care is settling down to re-read HP (again...) with a mahussive tumbler of Ribena and some form of chocolate - it's the ultimate re-set time for me!

On one of my random rest days this month, mum & I decided to head out for some gelato - it was so good! Mind you, we did get some weird looks at going in a restaurant and just ordering dessert...

Little Prin is the perfect snuggle buddy - I got back into my tumblr this month and I've fallen back in love with it again! I've found so much inspiration for my Instagram photos from my tumblr, it has been lovely! Curating my tumblr just makes me so happy (which is ridiculous, I know!) and I find it so much easier and less overwhelming than Pinterest.

I shared a bit of Monday Motivation - this is something I really need to remember at the moment. I'm currently working on my Specialist Portfolio at work and I put it off for the longest time because I just felt so overwhelmed by the thought of starting such a big piece of work again - this quote is the motivation I keep reminding myself of every time I get panicky over writing a piece of work for my portfolio - it has really been helping.

I'm a sucker for a novelty mug - when I found this mug I *had* to have it for Easter - isn't it cute?!

I couldn't pass up this beautiful bunch of hydrangeas and roses - mainly because I bloomin' love hydrangeas but also because I thought they'd look beaut on my insta - seriously though...

Is it even Easter if you don't share a photo of Easter choccy?! Somehow I've still got some Easter chocolate left!

See this cake? I actually baked it with my own fair hands (well with the help of the Kitchen Aid bobs)! The combination of  chocolate sponge, raspberry jam and Betty Crocker chocolate fudge icing, melted dairy milk and mini eggs was just bloomin' delicious!

A big date in my calendar this month was the fact that PLL came back - tbh I spent most of the episode feeling very lost and confused - you can read my live-blogged thoughts throughout the ep. in this post!

How insanely cool is this wall at the restaurant I went out for dinner at last week? I kinda fell in love with these butcher-esque straw hats... It was a pretty crazy place, the table top was copper (if the lighting had been better it would've been my dream insta-shooting location!), most of the meals came on boards and the soup came in a metal tankard! I had a really lovely evening with some of my buddies from work!

What's this? I went out again for dinner? Twice in one weekend? My hermit ways were seriously challenged this month! I went out for dinner for my best friends sisters' hen party and had so much fun! 

I love this photo, there's no real reason for me including it other than the fact I'm just really proud of it! I love how clean and fresh it looks! Looking back on all of my photos from this past four months I'm so happy with how much posting everyday on Instagram has improved my photography (and photo editing!) skills!



The New Bag Post

I'm a bag addict...it's a problem. And I'm apparently incapable of swapping out to a new bag without sharing it here on the ol' blog - the what's in my bag post is a classic after all!

BAG (other colours) // I bought this bag back in November, on a complete post-night shift payday impulse buy when we were wandering around John Lewis. I felt guilty about it for a few months so couldn't bring myself to use it (does anyone else get that, or is that just a weird quirk of mine?!). I couldn't pass it up - I love how cute this teeny tiny backpack is! I'm one of those people who will fill whatever bag I carry, that's why I tend to favour small bags - otherwise I just end up carting around everything but the kitchen sink around with me everyday! I'm loving this bag at the moment!

CARD HOLDER // I've been using this card holder for a couple of years now and it's still going strong! There is no way I can fit a 'proper' purse in this bag - plus I'm terrible at carrying cash anyway! I just keep my debit card and driving license in this pretty, sparkly lil buddy and it has been working out fine. It does make paying for parking a bit of a palaver though so I keep a stash of coins in a little coin purse out of sight in my car - it does the job! 

NUXE LIP BALM // My beloved Elizabeth Arden eight hour cream had to be sacrificed - there just isn't enough room in this bag for me to carry it around, I think I need to invest in the stick version to throw in my bag. Until then this Nuxe one is doing the job fine enough.

L'OCCITAINE AMANDE HAND CREAM // I feel like my hands are so dry all the time lately - I feel like I'm always reaching for this! I love how non-greasy this is, it makes applying it on-the-go so easy. I hate that feeling when you put hand cream on and then you can't touch/hold anything for the next fifteen minutes, so annoying!

APPLE EARPHONES // I seriously don't know why I even carry these, I never use them! I think I only keep them for emergencies if I get stuck somewhere on my own and need a distraction...

JO MALONE WHITE JASMINE & MINT COLOGNE // I hate the feeling of leaving the house without perfume one, this mini cologne is perfect for keeping in my bag for an emergency spritz.

MUJI 0.5 GEL PEN // Is it always handy to have a pen in your bag - these muji ones are my fave, they make my handwriting pass as halfway decent! 

PORTABLE CHARGER (not available - similar) // I've had this portable charger for a good couple of years now and it's still going strong! It can fully charge my iPhone a couple of times, and it's pretty slim for something that holds that much charge - mind you not having a portable charger with me is not an option - my iPhone 6 battery is really tragic!

Side note: I obviously carry my car keys with me too, and usually there's an umbrella (or two) thrown in the boot of my car to deal with the indecisive English weather.